The Lupulin Exchange (LEx) is a community of commercial brewers who regularly need to rebalance hop positions, understand current market conditions (supply/demand, pricing), and plan/manage hop contracts with hop brokers. The LEx platform/venue allows brewers, brokers, and growers to list hops for sale, search for varieties to buy, set up Hop Alerts, and make secure transactions. LEx was built for brewers by brewers. The idea for the site came after spending countless hours managing the sale of over-contracted hops the old way (not fun).
With over 10 million dollars in trading volume, the LEx community has substantially improved transparency, market allocations (a major contributing factor to the hop crisis of 2008-9), and convenience, while providing a means for secure transactions.
Brewers, brokers, and growers have all benefitted from LEx. The Exchange is operated and maintained by the 4 founders and only 1 employee (below) to keep costs low for the thousands of members who make up the LEx community.
What isn’t LEx?
LEx is not a co-op or a hop broker/vendor. LEx doesn’t grow hops, sell hops, or contract with growers or brokers.
John Bryce facebook
John Bryce is a brewer, entrepreneur, and lover of all things technical brewing. John built his first brewery (Blacksburg Brewing Co.) on a shoestring budget at the age of 23 and his career continued at several VA breweries, including Capitol City, Old Dominion, Starr Hill, and others. He graduated from from Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei (VLB) in 2008 and currently serves as Technical Outreach Director of The Master Brewers Association Of The Americas (MBAA).
John & Jesse are also involved in a brewpub project in Charlottesville, VA, where John lives with his wife, kids, and a neurotic beagle named Buster. Many years ago, John brewed his first batch of homebrew with Lupulin Exchange co-founder, Shane Kunkle. You can learn more about why John Bryce started The Lupulin Exchange here.
Shane Kunkle facebook
Shane Kunkle has had a lot more practice writing software than brewing beer. That’s why John gave him a call when the idea for The Lupulin Exchange started brewing. Over the past 19 years, Shane has built a number of successful software companies and is currently the Chief Operating Officer at DevResults.
Shane graduated with honors in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech and is a Microsoft Certified Professional. His first professional lines of code were written for radar systems and high-speed buses at general motor’s forewarn group.
When he’s not writing code, you can find Shane with his wife and three sons – drinking rye whiskey, playing sports, coaching soccer or biking around Centennial Lake (generally in that order).
Jesse Pappas facebook
Jesse is a social psychologist, social drinker, and lover of all things beer. He's been friends with John Bryce and Shane Kunkle since their undergraduate days at Virginia Tech. Jesse opened a successful restaurant and spent considerable time behind bars (making drinks), but in wasn't until graduate school at University of Virginia that he learned the true value of a well-crafted beer.
Jesse now lives in the country with his wife KK, son Max, and cat Mel on Afton Mountain in Virginia.
Darren Kopp @darrenkopp
Darren Kopp is a father, husband, software engineer, and gamer. Darren figured out how to program websites when he was 14 years old and has continued learning ever since. Darren is eager to apply his software chops to all kinds of problems, and is currently teaching himself as much as he can about machine learning. Darren also works on open source projects, speaks at conferences, and helps raise two children. Darren lives in Utah and enjoys soccer, paintball, gaming, and spending time with his family.
AJ Hoffer @dochoffiday
AJ Hoffer, The Exchange's only hired employee, is a classic extrovert who just happens to love writing software. AJ was introduced to programming in high-school and has never looked back. With a passion instilled at a young age, AJ continued his studies in college and has built his career working hands-on with businesses, both small and large to solve real-world problems.
When he's not face-to-face with a monitor, AJ is probably hanging out with his wife and son in Lancaster, PA or throwing a frisbee to someone nearby, whether they like it or not.